The Observer‘s Hunter Walker was blocked from witnessing the NYPD sweep of Occupy Wall Street protesters, alongside reporters from The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNBC, NBC, and CBS. NBC and CBS also had news choppers grounded by NYPD, and another NBC reporter had her press pass taken by a police office.
Other reporters say that police were not making distinctions between press and protesters. A reporter for the New York Times and a freelancer for NPR were both arrested, and a Post reporter told the New York Times he had been put a choke hold.
“NYPD routinely keeps press off to the side to prevent the situation from getting worse,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in his morning press conference. “It’s to protect the press.”